I stood there,
feet on the white
and brown tile,
arms resting along the
smooth hand rail
overlooking the plaza.
So many people,
walking to and from
their favorite stores.
Some alone,
others with others,
children running
and screaming.
I look on as I see
people holding hands
with people that matter to them,
and my heart pangs in jealousy.

What makes me so different from them?
I think to myself.

A frigid breath
brushes past the
hairs on my neck,
making them stand
on end.

As if you yourself know not the answer,
the Mantle uttered,
slipping off my back
and onto the rails
on which I rested.

Of course. As if I could forget,
I ruminated.
The Mantle.
Forged in the darkest recessess
of my heart and mind,
granted by my inner shadow
in a desperate bid
to save others from their fate.
None can see it but my self
as it drapes over
my once proud shoulders.
Clad in a cloth of darkest night,
I am more
and less
than I was before it came to me.

So you do remember,
it drawled coldly.
It never ceases to fascinate me
to see you yearn for the Light
when you know full well
that your lust for the Light
is meaningless.

I scoff,
Spare me the false incredulity.
You would not exist if not for the Light.
I am my own judge and executioner,
and you would do well to remember

that it was I who summoned you.

A wry smile escapes the Mantle.
I care not for the Light
or Shadow,
young thaumaturge.
It was you who sought wisdom,
in all of its forms.
Do not place blame on I
for not being satisfied 
with what you see.

I suppose I thought
that things would be
as I envisioned them,
I softly recounted.

Are they ever?
the Mantle finished,
alighting gently on my shoulders.

I whispered out loud.

“No they are not”.


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